One day as Jesus was teaching his disciples, a question arose about how to gain eternal life and living in love. They asked him exactly who were they to consider to be their neighbors. His response to their question was in the simple parable about a humble travelling Samaritan, who unlike the priest and Levite before him, showed mercy to a near death beaten man found along the road (see Luke 10:25-37).
The thing that stick out like a sore thumb in this story for so many is that Samaritans and Jews were not close, yet this Samaritan showed more love and compassion for this near death Jew than the priest and Levite; the ones who understood all the tenants of love and compassion, yet showed none for this man.
For too long this has been the torment of so many in and outside of the Church. They hear the words of preachers and others who say look to us to love when the world casts you aside and leave you for dead, yet when a true moment to show that God kind of love comes along, they follow the same mantra as did the priest and Levite in the parable. Are we as believers truly learning the lessons of love and compassion, or are we choosing to hide behind legalities of world systems and choosing to call it being good stewards? What good does it do to build great ministries, yet fail to serve, which by definition is what ministry truly is?
Christ did many things in his day that were contrary to Pharisaic Law to demonstrate the Law of Grace, and that of His Kingdom. He performed miracles on the Sabbath, he was a friend to sinners, he touched the unclean and was a champion for all that most would reject. He used wisdom and discernment to distinguish sincerity from deviousness. He looked to the heart of a man above the words of their mouths.
Now is a time and season in which we as a body need to truly follow Christ’s example and display a heart of love and compassion that goes deeper than surface talk. If we hope to have treasures and riches in heaven, we cannot ignore the service we are called to here on earth. Now is the time to display the magnitude of God’s heart of love for His creation and children, through grace and love. Now is the time to be to the world and one another, what the world could never be nor should we expect to be.
QUESTION: Do you think the Church is learning or does it have more to learn?
- Who is my neighbor? (wcucwindows.org)
- The Good Samaritan (chesedhproject.wordpress.com)
- Who are my neighbor??? (purplephoenix15.wordpress.com)
- Who were the Samaritans? (altruistico.wordpress.com)
- The parable of the Good Samaritan: a sermon by Marilynne Robinson (jasongoroncy.com)
- Rev. Dr. Eric D. Barreto: Good Samaritans All Around (huffingtonpost.com)
- My Neighbor (freelancechristianity.com)
- Let us become a Good Samaritan like the Lord before us. (olwsm.wordpress.com)